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Peanut Allergy Could be Tamed with Early Treatment in Small Kids

According to a study published Thursday, young children with Peanut Allergy may be able to overcome their sensitivities if they are treated early enough. To increase a group of toddlers’ tolerance for peanuts, the researchers fed them increasing amounts of peanut protein powder. After two and a half years, nearly three-quarters of the participants could endure the equivalent of 16 peanuts without experiencing an allergic reaction.

One-fifth of the patients had the same tolerance six months after therapy ended. The technique appeared to work best in young children and those with milder allergies, according to the researchers, who published their findings in the journal Lancet on Thursday. According to Dr. Stacie Jones, a study co-author from the University of Michigan, the findings show that there is a “window of opportunity” early in life when treatment could have a long-term influence.

There is already a therapy for Peanut Allergy, but it is only licenced for children aged 4 and up, and it only protects against accidental exposure to small amounts of peanuts. Children should still avoid eating the nuts and carry an EpiPen or other allergy treatment with them. It similarly employs peanut powder, but the protection is lost if the children quit taking the therapy.

Jones and her colleagues used a similar strategy on younger children to determine if their immune systems could be influenced if they were treated sooner. She has consulted with Aimmune Therapeutics and helped conduct a trial for the current therapy, Palforzia. Peanut Allergy affect about 2% of children in the United States, causing severe responses and causing parents ongoing worry. Some youngsters outgrow their allergies, but the majority must avoid peanuts for the rest of their lives.

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